Introduction

LIVES OF THE PURITANS.

INTRODUCTION:

CONTAINING A SKETCH OF THE HISTORY OF NONCONFORMITY FROM THE REFORMATION, TO THE PASSING OF THE ACT OF UNIFORMITY, IN 1662.

Sect. I.

From the Commencement of the Reformation^ to the Death of Queen Mary.

Previous to the accession of King Henry VIII. popish darkness overspread the whole island of Britain. This was followed by a train of most unhappy consequences. Ignorance, superstition, immorality and persecution were predominant in every part of the kingdom. Those who presumed to think ibr themselves on religious subjects, and to dissent from the national church, underwent all the oppressions and severities of persecution. From the days of Wickliffe to this time, great numbers of excellent christians and worthy subjects, fell sacrifices to popish cruelty. This proud monarch being at first a most obedient son of the pope, treated the bold confessors of truth as obstinate rebels; and because their piety and integrity condemned his licentiousness, he put multitudes to cruel tortures and to death.

Soon after Luther arose in Saxony, England became affected by his bold and vigorous opposition to the errors of the church of Rome. The young king, vain of his scholastic learning, was unwise enough to meet the bold reformer on the field of controversy, and published a book against him.* Luther treated his royal antagonist with sarcastic contempt, contending that truth and science knew no difference between the prince and the plebeian. The pope, however, craftily flattered the vanity of the royal author, by conferring upon him the title of Defender of the Faith,* which Henry was weak enough to value as the brightest jewel in his crown. This pompous reward from his holiness was .conferred upon him in the year 1521.J

The haughty king soon discovered his ingratitude. Ho quarrelled with the pope, renounced his authority, and became his avowed enemy. Being weary of Queen Katharine his wife, with whom he had lived almost twenty years; and having long sought, but in vain, to be divorced by the pope, he was so much offended, that he utterly rejected the papal power, authority and tyranny in England. This was a dreadful blow against the Komish supremacy. But the king soon after procured the dignified and flattering t itle of Supreme Head of the Church of England. This additional jewel to his crown was conferred upon him, first by the clergy in convocation, then by act of parliament.^ Thus, in the year 1534, Henry VIII. having renounced the supremacy of the pope, and having placed himself in the chair of his holiness, at least as far as concerned the English church, did not fail to manifest his usurped power and authority. He did not intend to ease the people of their oppressions, but only change their foreign yoke for domestic fetters, dividing the pope's spoils betwixt himself and his bishops, who cared not for their father at Rome, so long as they enjoyed honours and their patrimony under another hcad.||

• Mr. Fox observes, tbat though " this book carried the king's name in the tide, it was another who minis!red the motion, and framed the style. But w hosoever had the labour of the book, the king had the thanks and the reward."—AcU and Monuments of Martyrs, vol. ii. p. 57.

+ It has been said, that the jester whom Henry, according to the custom of the times, retained at court, seeing the king overjoyed, asked the reason ; and when told, that it was because his holiness had conferred upon him this new title, he replied, " my good Harry, let thee and me defend each other, and let the faith alone to defend itself." If this was spoken an a serious joke, the fool was undoubtedly the wisest man of the two.

J Burnet's Hiit. of Refor. vol. i. p. 19.—King Henry afterwards got this sacred title united to the crown, by act of parliament; and, curious and inconsistent as it may appear, it is retained to this day.—llcyliris Hiit. of Pres. p. 235.

S Burnet's Hist of Refor. vol. i. p. 112. 136. 157.

( Memoirs of Col. Hutchinson, vol. i. p. 105. Edit. 1810.

On June 9, 1536, assembled the first reformed convocation in England ; in which Lord Cromwell, prime secretary, sat in state above the bishops, as the king's vicegerent in all spiritual matters.* On this occasion, Cromwell, by order of the king, declared, " That it was his majesty's pleasure, that the rites and ceremonies of the church should be reformed by the Rules Of Scripture, and that nothing should be maintained which did not rest on that authority ; for it was absurd, since the scriptures were acknowledged to contain the laws of religion, that recourse should be had to glosses or the decrees of popes, rather than to them."+ H-ippy had it been, if the reformers of the church of England had invariably adhered to this sacred principle. Much, however, was done even at this early period. The pious reformers rejoiced to see the holy scriptures professedly made the only standard of faith and worship, to the exclusion of all human traditions. The immediate worship of images and saints was now renounced, and purgatory declared uncertain. But the corporeal presence in the sacrament, the preservation and reverence of images, with the necessity of auricular confession, were still retained.:} The publication of Tindal and Coverdale's Translations of the Bible, greatly promoted the work of reformation; though it soon received a powerful check by the passing of the terrible and bloody act of the Six Articles. By this act, all who spoke against transubstantiation were to be burnt as heretics, and suffer the loss of all their lands and goods; and to defend the communion in both kinds, or the marriage of priests; or, to speak against the necessity of private mass, and auricular confession, was made telotiy, with the forfeiture of lands and goods.$ Towards the close of this king's reign, the popish party obtained the ascendancy ; the severity of persecution was revived ; and the Romish superstitions greatly prevailed. Till now, these superstitions had never been denominated laudable ceremonies, necessary rites, and godfj/ constitutions. All who refused to observe them, were condemned as traitors against the king. To make the standing of the persecuting prelates more secure, and their severities the more effectual, this was ratified by act of parliament. S Many excellent persons were, therefore, condemned to the flames: among whom were the famous Mr. Thomas Bilney,

Mr. Richard Byfield, Mr. John Frith, and Dr. Robert Barnes, all highly celebrated lor piety and zeal in the cause of the reformation.*

King Henry was succeeded by his son, Edward VI., a prince of most pious memory. Being only nine years and four months old when he came to the crown, he was free from bigotry and superstition, and ready to observe the instructions of Archbishop Cranmer and the Duke of Somerset, by whose aid and influence, he set himself to promote sound religion. Upon his accession, the penal laws against protestants were abolished, the chains of many worthy persons confined in prison were struck off, the prison-doors were set open, and the sufferers released. Others who had fled from the storm, and remained in a state of exile, now with joy returned home. Among the former were old Bishop Latimer and John Rogers ;t and among the latter, were Hooper, afterwards the famous martyr, and Miles Coverdale, afterwards a celebrated puritan.J Men of real worth were esteemed and preferred. Hooper became Bishop of Gloucester, and Coverdale was made Bishop of Exeter. The monuments of idolatry, with the superstitious rites and ceremonies, were commanded to be abolished, and a purer form of worship introduced. Though, during this reign, the reformation made considerable progress, the greatest part of the parochial clergy were in a state of most deplorable ignorance : but to remedy, as far as possible, this evil, the pious reformers composed and published the book of Homilies for their use.^ The order of public worship was a Liturgy or Book of Common Prayer, established by act of parliament. Though this act did not pass without much opposition, especially from the bishops, some were so enamoured with the book, that they scrupled not to say, " it was compiled by the aid of the Holy Ghost."\

In the year 1550, the altars in most cnurchcs were taken away, and convenient tables set up in their places.1 " And as the form of a table," says Burnet, " was more likely to turn the people from the superstition of the popish mass, and bring them to the right use of the Lord's Supper,

primary

curates and churchwardens in his diocese, to have it in the fashion of a table, decently covered."* This was very congenial to the wishes of many of the pious reformers, who, at this early period, publicly avowed their nonconformity to the ecclesiastical establishment. Among the articles of the above visitation, the bishop inquired, " Whether any of the anabaptists' sect, or others, use any unlawful or private conventicles, wherein they use doctrine, or administration of sacraments, separating themselves from the rest of the church ? And whether any minister doth refuse to use the common prayers, or minister the sacraments, in that order and form, as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer ?"+ The disputes about conformity were carried into the pulpits ; and whilst some warmly preached against all innovations, others as warmly preached against all the superstitions and corruptions of the old Romish church ; so that the court prohibited all preaching, except by persons licensed by the King or the Archbishop of Canterbury. +

In the convocation of 1552, forty-two Articles of Religion were agreed upon by the bishops and clergy, to which subscription was required of all ecclesiastical persons, who should officiate or enjoy any benefice in the church. And all who should refuse, were to be excluded from all ecclesiastical preferment. This appears to be the first time that subscription to the articles was enjoined.^ Here the reformation under King Edward made a stand.

During this king's reign, there were numerous debates about the habits, rites and ceremonies ; and many divines of great learning and piety, became zealous advocates foe nonconformity. They excepted against the clerical vestments, kneeling at the communion, godfathers and their promises and vows in baptism, the superstitious observance of Lent, the oath of canonical obedience, pluralities and nonresidence, with many other things of a similar description.! At this early period, there was a powerful and very considerable party disaffected to the established liturgy.i Though the reformation had already made considerable progress, its chief promoters were concerned for its further advancement. They aimed at a more perfect w ork ; and

* Burnet's Hist, of Refor. vol. it, p. 1S8.

+ Sparrow's Collection, p. 36.

$ Burnet's Hist, of Refor. vol. Hi. p. 195.

^ Sparrow's Collection, p. 39.—Strype's Eccl. Mem. vol. ii. p. 420.
jj MS, Remarks, p. 51. I Fuller's Cburcb Hist. b. vii. p. 426.

manifested their disapprobation of the numerous popish ceremonies and superstitions still retained in the church. King Edward desired that the rites and ceremonies used under popery, should be purged out of the church, and that the English churches might be brought to the AposTolic Purity. Archbishop Cranmer was also very desirous to promote the same ;* and he is said to have drawn up a book of prayers incomparably more perfect than that which was then in use; but he was connected with-so wicked a clergy and convocation, it could not take place + And the king in his diary laments, that he could not restore the primitive discipline according to his heart's desire, because several of the bishops, some through age, some through ignorance, some on account of their ill name, and some out of love to popery, were opposed to the design.} Bishop Latimer complained of the stop put to the reformation, and urged the necessity of reviving the primitive discipline.^ 1 he professors of our two universities, Peter Martyr and Martin lincer, both opposed the use of the clerical vestments. To Martyr the vestments were offensive, and he would not wear them. " When I was at Oxford," says he, " I would never use those white garments in the choir; and I was satisfied in what I did." He styled them mere relies of popery. Bucer giving his advice, said, " That as those garments had been abused to superstition, and were likely to become the subject of contention, they ought to be taken away by law ; and ecclesiastical discipline, and a more thorough reformation, set up. He disapproved of godfathers answering in the child's name. He recommended that pluralities and nonresidenccs might be abolished ; and that bishops might not be concerned in secular affairs, but take care of their dioceses, and govern them by the advice of their presbyters." The pious king was so much pleased w ith this advice, that '' he set himself to write upon a further reformation, and the necessity of church discipline."|| Bucer was displeased with various corruptions in the liturgy. " It cannot be expressed, how bitterly he bewailed, that, when the gospel began to spread in England, a greater regard was not had to discipline and purity of rites, in constituting tho

* Neal's Puritans, vol. i. p. 73.—Strype's Cranmer, p. 299.
+ Troubles at Frankcford, p. 48.

J King Edward's Remains, numb. 2. in Burnet, vol, ii.
§ Burnet's Hist, of Kefnr. vol. ii. p. 152.
U Ibid. vol. ii. p. 156—1S7.

churches."* He could never be prevailed upon to wear the surplice. And when he was asked why he did not wear the square cap? he replied, " Because my head is not square."+ The famous Dr. Thomas Sampson, afterwards one of the heads of the puritans, excepted against the habits at his ordination, who, nevertheless, was admitted by Cranmer and Ridley.£ But the celebrated John Rogers and Bishop Hooper, according to Fuller, were " the very ringleaders of the nonconformists. They renounced all ceremonies practised by the papists, conceiving (as he has expressed it) that such ought not only to be clipt with shears, but shaven with a razor; yea, all the stumps thereof pluckt out."^

The sad effects of retaining the popish habits in the church, began to appear at a very early period. In the year 1550, a debate arose, which to some may appear of small consequence; but, at this time, was considered of great importance to the reformation. The debate was occasioned by Dr. Hooper's nomination to the bishopric of Gloucester. Burnet denominates him a pious, zealous, and learned man. Fuller says, he was well skilled in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.! He was some time chaplain to the Duke of Somerset, and a famous preacher in the city of London ;i but declined the offered preferment for two reasons,—1. Because of the form of the oath, which he calls foul and impious. .And, 2. Because of the popish garments. The oath required him to swear by the saints, as well as by the name of God ; which Hooper thought impious, because the Searcher of Hearts alone ought to be appealed to in an oath. The young king being convinced of this, struck out the words with his own pen.*" But the scruples about the habits were not so easily got over. The king and council were inclined to dispense with them, as his majesty openly signified in the above letter to Cranmer: but Cranmer and Ridley were of another

* FIcytin's Hist, of Refor. p. 65. + Strype's Parker, Appen. p. 41, i Strypp's Cranmer, p. 192. § Church Hist. b. vii. p. 402.

|| Burnet's Itefor. vol. iii. p. 199.—Fuller's Church Hist. b. vii. p. 402, 403.—King Edward, in his letter of nomination to Cranmer, dated Aug. 5, 1550, writes thus : " We, by the advice of our council, have called and chosen our right well-beloved and well-worthy Mr. John Hooper, professor of divinity, to be our Bishop of Gloucester; as well for his learning, deep judgment, and long study, both in the scriptures, and profane learning; as also for his good discretion, ready utterance, iind honest life for that kind of vocation."—Ibi/I.

X Strype's Cranmer, p. 211.

* « Burnet's Hist, of Kefor. vol. iii. p. 203.

mind, and refused their allowance. Ridley was therefore nominated to a deputation with Hooper, with a view to bring him to a compliance ; but this proved ineffectual. Hooper still remained unconvinced, and prayed to be excused from the old symbolizing popish garments. These garments, he observed, had no countenance in scripture or primitive antiquity : they were the inventions of antichrist, and introduced into the church in the most corrupt ages : they had been abused to idolatry, particularly in the pompous celebration of the mass : and to continue the use of them, was, in his opinion, to symbolize with antichrist, to mislead the people, and inconsistent with the simplicity of the christian religion.* He could appeal to the Searcher of Hearts, that it was not obstinacy, but the convictions

ments.t

Ridley's endeavours proving unsuccessful, Hooper was committed to the management of Cranmer, who, being unable to bring him to conformity, laid the affair before the council, and he was committed to the Fleet. Having remained in prison for several months, the matter was compromised, when he was released and consecrated.i He consented to put on the vestments at his consecration, when he preached before the king, and in his own cathedral; but was suffered to dispense with them at other times.§ How this business was adjusted, and with what degree of severity he was persecuted, is related by Mr. Fox, in the Latin edition of his '< Acts and Monuments of the Martyrs." The passage, says Mr. Peirce, he hath left out in all his English editions, out of too great tenderness to the party. " Thus," says Mr. Fox, ended this theological quarrel in the victory of the bishops, Hooper being forced to recant; or, to say the least, being constrained to appear once in public, attired afler the manner of the bishops. Which, unless he had done, there are those who think the bishops would have endeavoured to take away his life : for his servant told me," adds the martyrologist, " that the Duke of Suffolk sent such word to Hooper, who was not himself ignorant of what they were doing."} Horrid barbarity! Who, before Hooper, was ever thrown into prison, and in danger of his life, merely

• Neal's Puritans, vol. i. p. 6S. + Fuller's Church Hist*, b. vii. p. 404. J Strype's Cranmer, p. 211—215—Baker's MS. Collec vol. xviii.p.269. ^ Burnet's Hist, of Refor. vol. ii.p. 166. C Peirce's Vimjicatjon, part i. p. 30.

of his conscience

because he refused a bishopric ? It was certainly some kind of excuse, that the bishops would not consecrate him contrary to law ; but there can be no excuse for his imprisonment, and their conspiring to take away his life. When Hooper wished to he excused accepting the offered preferment upon the conditions of the ecclesiastical establishment, was there any law to constrain him, contrary to the convictions of his own conscience.' Ridley, however, who was by far the most severe against Hooper, lived to change his opinions, as will appear hereafter.

Most of the reforming clergy were of Hooper's sentiments in this controversy. Several who had submitted to the habits in the late reign, now laid them aside: among whom were Bishops Latimer and Coverdale, Dr. Rowland Taylor, John Rogers, John Bradford, and John Philpot, all zealous nonconformists. They declaimed against them as mere popish and superstitious attire, and not fit for the ministers of the gospel.* Indeed, they were not so much, as pressed upon the clergy in general, but mostly left as matters of indifference. +

During this reign, certain persons denominated anabaptists, having fled from the wars in Germany, and come to England, propagated their sentiments and made proselytes in ihis country. Complaints being brought against them to the council, Archbishop Cranmer, with several of the bishops and others, received a commission, April 12, 1550, " to examine and search after all anabaptists, heretics, or contemners of the common prayer." As they were able to discover such persons, they were to endeavour to reclaim them, and, after penance, to give them absolution; but all who continued obstinate, were to be excommunicated, imprisoned, and delivered over to the secular power. Several tradesmen in London being convened before the commissioners, abjured; but Joan Bocher, or Joan of Kent, was made a public example. She steadfastly maintained, " That Christ was not truly incarnate of the virgin, whose flesh being sinful, he could not partake of it; but the word, by the consent of the inward man of the virgin, took flesh of her."j These were her own words; not capable of doing much mischief, and, surely, undeserving any severe punishment. The poor woman could not reconcile the spotless purity of

• MS. Chronology, vol. I. p. 35. (30.)

+ Burnet's Hilt, of Refor. vol. iii. p. 310, 311.

} Burnet's Hitt. of Refor. vol. ii. Collec. p. 168.

Christ's human nature, with his receiving flesh from a sinful creature; for which she was declared an obstinate heretic, and delivered over to the secular power to be burnt. The compassionate young king thought, that burning persons for their religious opinions savoured too much of that for which they censured the papists; therefore, when he could not prevail upon himself to sign the warrant for her execution, Cranmer, with his superior learning, was employed to persuade him. He argued from the practice of the Jewish church in stoning blasphemers; which silenced, rather than satisfied the king. He still looked upon it as cruel severity. And when at last he yielded to the archbishop's importunity, he told him, with tears in his eyes, " That if he did wrong, since it was in submission to his authority, he should answer for it to God." This is said to have struck the archbishop with much horror; yet he suffered the sentence to be executed.*

Besides those denominated anabaptists, there were also many others who administered the sacraments in other manner thfin was prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer. To prevent the number of these nonconformists from increasing, and to crush all who bad already imbibed their sentiments, another commission was issued, empowering the archbishop and others to correct and punish them.t And in the year 1352, Cranmer and others received a third commission from the council, to examine a certain sect newly sprang up in Kent.} This was a sect of nonconformists, though their peculiar sentiments do not appear. Mr. Fox, in the Latin edition of his " Martyrs," observes, " That one Humphrey Middleton,^ with some others, had been kept prisoners in the last year of King Edward by the archbishop, and had been dreadfully teazed by him and the rest in commission, and were now just upon the point of being condemned ; when in open court he said : [Veil, reverend Sir, pass what sentence you think JU upon

» Burnet's Hi>.t. of Refor. vol. ii. p. Ill, 112.—This female sufTi-rer, according to Mr. Strype, " was a great reader of the scriptures, and formerly a great di^perser of Tindal's New Testament; wliirh book she dispersed in the court, and so became acquainted with certain women of quality. She used, for the greater secrecy, to tie the books with string« under her apparel, and so pass with them into the court." Thus she exposed her owu life, in dangerous times, to bring others to a know ledge of God's holy word. — Strype s Eccl. Mtmoriah, vol. ii. p. 214.

+ Strype's Parker, p. 27. t Strype's Cranmer, p. 291.

^ This person, a native of Ashford, in Kent, was afterwards burnt in the days of Queen Mary.—Fox's Martyrs, vol. iii.p . 313,

us ; but that you may not say you were not forewarned, I testify that your own turn will be next. And accordingly it came to pass; for a little while after, King Edward died, when the prisoners were set at liberty, and the archbishop and bishops cast into prison."* The above severities, shewing the imperfect state of the English reformation, will Ik; handed down to posterity, as monuments of lasting reproach to our famous reformers. Persecution, whoever may be the persecutors, deserves ever to appear in all its detestable and shocking features.

In the year 1553, upon the death of King Edward, his sister Mary coming to the crown, soon overturned the reformation, and restored the whole body of popery. The queen was a violent papist; yet she at first declared, " That though her conscience was settled in matters of religion, she was resolved not to compel others, only by the preaching of the word."+ How tiir her majesty adhered to this sacred maxim, the numerous tragic scenes of her bloody reign, afford too strong a proof. She, within the same month, prohibited all preaching without her special license; and further declared, " That she would not compel her subjects to be of her religion, till public order should be taken."t This was a clear intimation of the approaching storm. Many of the principal reformers were immediately cast iuto prison. Hooper was sent to the Fleet, and Cranmcr and Latimer to the Tower, and above a thousand persons retired into foreign parts :§ among whom were five bishops, five deans, four archdeacons, and a great number of doctors in divinity, and celebrated preachers. In the number of worthy exiles were Coverdale, Turner, Sampson, Whitehead, Becon, Lever, Whittingham, and Fox, all afterwards famous in the days of Queen Elizabeth.|| The two archbishops and most of the bishops were deprived of their sees. The most celebrated preachers in London were put under confinement, and no less than 12,000 of the clergy, for being married, were turned out of their livings; some of whom were deprived without conviction ; some were never cited to appear; and many, being confined in prison, and unable to appear, were cited and deprived for non-appearance. In the mean time, the service and reformation of King Edward were abolished, and the old popish worship and ceremonies revived.!

* Peirce's Vindication, part i. p. 35.

+ Burnet's Hist, of Refor. vol. ii. p. 245. % Ibid. % Ibid. p. 247, 250. |j Strype's Cranmer, p. 314. f Burnet's Hist, of Refor. vol. ii. p. 276.

During this queen's reign, several hundred persons suffered death under the foul charge of heresy ;* among whom were great numbers of pious and learned divines, all zealous for the reformation. Many of these divines being avowed nonconformists in the reign of King Edward, maintained their principles even at the stake. Mr. John Rogers, the protomartyr, peremptorily refused to wear the habits, unless the popish priests were enjoined to wear upon their sleeves, as a mark of distinction, a chahce with an host. The same may be observed of Mr. John Philpot and Mr. Tyms, two other eminent martyrs.+ Bishop Latimer derided the garments ; and when they pulled off the surplice at his degradation, he said, Now I can make no more holy water. In the articles against Bishop Farrar, it was objected, that he had vowed never to wear the cap, but that he came into his cathedral in his long gown and hat; which he did not deny, alleging that he did it to avoid superstition, and giving offence to the people.% When the popish vestments were put upon Dr. Taylor, at his degradation, he walked about with his hands by his sides, saying, " How say you, my lord, am I not a godly fool? How say you, my masters, if I were in Cheapside, should I not have boys enough to laugh at these apish toys and toying trumpery .*" And it is observed, that when the surplice was pulled off, he said, Now I am rid of a fool's coat.S The famous John Bradford excepted against the habits, and was ordained without them; and even Cranmer and Ridley, who, in the late reign had exercised great severity against Hooper and others, lived to see their

clothed in the habits, at his degradation, said, " All this needeth not. I had myself done with this years ago."j Ridley, when he refused to put on the surplice at his degradation, and they put it on by force, " vehemently inveighed against it, calling it foolish and abominable, and too fond for a vice in a play.y\ And even during his confinement in prison, he wrote to Hooper, saying, " That

* Burnet reckon? the number of those who suffered in the flames to be 284; and Mr. Strype, S88; hut it is said there were no less than 800, during Wueen Mary's bloody persecution.—Ibid. p. 864.—Strype'i EccU Mem. vol. iii. Appen. p. 891.

+ Devlin's Hist, of Rei'or. part i. p. 9S.

\ Fox's Martyrs, vol. iii. p. 168, 172. S Ibid- P- 143.

|| It is observed thai both Cranmer and Ridley intended 10 have procured an act for abolishing the habits, but were prevented.—Peirce's Vindication, part i. p. 44.

S Fox's Martyrs, vol. iii. p. 427.

Cranmer being he was entirely knit to him, though in some circumstances of religion they had formerly jarred a little; wherein it was Hooper's wisdom, and his own simplicity, which had made the difference."*

All the severe persecution in this queen's reign, did not extinguish the light of the English reformation. Great numbers were driven, indeed, into exile, and multitudes suffered in the flames, yet many, who loved the gospel more than their lives, were enabled to endure the storm. Congregations were formed in various parts of the kingdom. There was a considerable congregation of these excellent christians, at Stoke, in Suffolk; with whom, on account of their number and unanimity, the bishops were for some time afraid to interfere. They constantly attended their private meetings, and never went to the parish church. An order was at length sent to the whole society, requiring them to receive the popish sacrament, or abide by the consequences. But the good people having assembled for the purpose of consultation, unanimously resolved not to comply. In about six months, the Bishop of Norwich sent his officers, strictly charging them to go to church on the following Lord's day, or, in case of failure, to appear before the commissary to give an account of their conduct. But having notice of this, they kept out of the way to avoid the summons. When they neither went to church, nor appeared before the commissary, the angry prelate suspended and excommunicated the whole congregation. And when officers were appointed to apprehend them, they left the town, and so escaped all the days of Queen Mary.t

The most considerable of these congregations, was that which met in and about London. Owing to the vigilance of their enemies, these people were obliged to assemble with the utmost secrecy ; and though there were about 200 members, they remained for a considerable time undiscovered. Their meetings were held alternately in Aldgate, in Blackfriars, in Pudding-lane, in Thames-street, and in ships upon the river. Sometimes they assembled in the villages about London, especially at Islington, that they might the more easily elude the bishops' officers. To

* Prince's Chron. Hist. vol. i. p. 217.—Bishop Ridley was a famous disputant against the papists. lie forced them to acknowledge, that Christ in bis last sapper, held himself in his hand, and afterwards cat himself.—Granger's Biog. Hist. vol. i. p. 159.

t Clark's Martyrologle, p. 515.

screen themselves from the notice of their persecntors, they often met in the night, and experienced many wonderful providential deliverances.* Their public devotions were conducted by the following ministers : Edmund Scambler, afterwards successively Bishop of Peterborough and Norwich, Mr. Fowler, Mr. John Rough, Mr. Augustine Birnher, Thomas Bentham, afterwards Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, and Mr. John Pullain, afterwards an excellent puritan. +

During Mr. Rough's ministry among these people, he was apprehended, with Mr. Cuthbert Syinpson and some others, at a house in Islington, where the church was about to assemble for prayer and preaching the word : and being taken before the council, after several examinations, he was sent to Newgate, and his case committed to the management of Bonner. The character of this prelate, whose hands were so deeply stained with innocent blood, needs no colouring in this place: the faithful pages of history will always hold it up to the execration of mankind. In his hands, Mr. Rough met with the most relentless cruelty. Not content with degrading him, and delivering him over to the secular power, the furious prelate flew upon him, and plucked the beard from his face. And, at length, after much cruel usage, he ended his life in the flames, in December, 1557.{ Mr. Sympson, who was deacon of the church, was a pious, faithful, and zealous man, labouring incessantly to preserve the flock from the errors of popery, and to secure them from the dangers of persecution. At the time of his apprehension, the whole church was, indeed, in the utmost danger. It was Mr. Sympson's office to keep a book, containing the names of all the persons belonging to the congregation, which book he always carried to their private assemblies. But it was so ordered, by the good

* On one of these nocturnal occasions, being assembled in a house, by the side of the river, in Thames-street, they were discovered ; and the house was so guarded, that their enemies were sure none cnuld escape. But among them was a worthy mariner, who, seeing no other way of deliverance, got out at a back door; and swimming to a boat in the river, brought it; and having received all the good people into it, he made oars of his shoes, and couveyed them all away in safety. — Clark'i Martyrologie, p. 515, 616. t Ibid.—Strype's Annals, vol. i. p. 292.

J Fox's Martyrs, vol. iii. p. 722, 726. — Mr. Rough had been a celebrated preacher in Scotland, and also in England, in the reign of Edward VI. A sermon which he delivered in the pari li church of St. Andrew, was made a great blessing to the celebrated Mr. John Knox, and proved the means of bringing him forth to engage in his public ministry.—Biog. Britan. vol. iv. p. 2865, Edit. 1747.

[irovidence of God, that on the day of Iris apprehension, le left it with Mrs. Rough, the minister's wife.* Two or three days after this, he was sent to the Tower. During his confinement, because he would not discover the book, nor the names of the persons, he was cruelly racked three several times; and an arrow was tied between his two forelingers, and drawn out so violently as to cause the blood to gush forth ; but all was without etfect. He was then committed to Bonner, who bore this testimony concerning him before a number of spectators: " You see what a personable man this is ; and for his patience, if he were not an heretic, 1 should much commend him. For he has been thrice racked in one day, and, in my house, he hath endured some sorrow; and yet I never saw his patience once moved." The relentless prelate, nevertheless, condemned him, ordering him first into the stocks in his coal-house, and from thence to Smithfield; where with Mr. Fox and Mr. Davcnish, two others of the church taken at Islington, he ended his lite in the flames. + Seven more of this church were burnt in Smithfield, six at Brentford, and others died in prison.t

The numerous divines who fled from the persecution of Queen Mary, retired to Frankfort, Strasburgh, Zurich, Basil, Geneva, and other places; but they were most numerous at Frankfort. At this place it was, that a contest and division commenced, which gave rise to the Puritans, and to that Separation from the church of England which continues to this day. The exiles were in no place so happily settled as at Frankfort; where the senate gave them the use of a church, on condition that they should not vary from the French reformed church, either in doctrine or ceremonies. According to these conditions, they drew up a new liturgy, more agreeable to those of the tbreign churches, omitting the responses and the litany, with many trifling ceremonies in the English prayer book, and declined the use of the surplice. They took possession

• A few nights before this, Mr. Rough had a remarkable dream. He thought he saw Mr. Sympson taken by two of tbe guard, and with the book above-mentioned. This giving him much trouble, he awoke, and related the dream to his wife. Afterwards, falling asleep, he again dreamt the same thing. Upon his awaking tbe second time, he determined to go immediately to Mr. Sympson, and put him upon his guard; but while he was getting ready, Mr. Sympson came to his bouse with the book, which he deposited with Mrs. Rough, as above related.—Fox, vol. iii. p. 726.

+ Ibid. p. 726, 729.—Clark's Martyrologie, p. 497.

% Fox's Martyrs, vol. iii, p. 732, 734.

of the church, July 29, 1554; and having chosen a temporary minister and deacons, they sent to their brethren, who had fled to other places, inviting them to Frankfort, where they might hear God's word truly preached, the sacraments duly administered, and the requisite christian discipline properly exercised: privileges which could not be obtained in their own country.4 The members of the congregation sent for Mr. John Knox from Geneva, Mr. James Haddon from Strasburgh, and Mr. Thomas Lever from Zurich, requesting them to take the oversight of them in the Lord.

The church at Frankfort being thus comfortably settled with pastors, deacons, and a liturgy, according to its own choice; Dr. Richard Cox, a man of a high spirit, coming to that city, with some of his friends, broke through the conditions of the new-formed church, and interrupted the public service by answering aloud after the minister. On the Lord's day following, one of the company, equally officious as himself, ascended the pulpit, and read the whole litany. Mr. Knox, upon this, taxed the authors of this disorder with a breach of the terms of their common agreement, and affirmed, that some things in the Book of Common Prayer were superstitious and impure. Dr. Cox reproved him for his censoriousness ; and being admitted, with the rest of his company, to vote in the congregation, obtained a majority, prohibiting Mr. Knox from preaching any more.t But Mr. Knox's friends applied

the French church both in doctrine and ceremonies, according to their original agreement. Dr. Cox and his party finding Knox's interest among the magistrates too strong, had recourse to an unworthy and unchristian method to get rid of him. This divine having published a book, while he was in England, entitled " An Admonition to Christians," in which he had said, " That the emperor was no less an enemy to Christ than Nero," these overbearing fellowexiles basely availed themselves of this and some other expressions in the book, and accused him of high treason

ot the emperor's honour, and unwilling to embroil themselves in these controversies, desired Mr. Knox, in a respectful manner, to depart from the city. So he left the place, March 25, 1555.

commanded them to unite with

inst the

fpon this, the senate being tender „ i :n: i ii Ai

* Troubles at Frankeford, p. 1—3.

+ Cox and his friends were admitted to vote in the congregation, through the particular solicitations of Mr. Kaox.—Ibid. p. 33.

Upon Mr. Knox's departure, Cox's party having strengthened themselves by the addition of other exiles, petitioned the magistrates for the free use of King Edward's servicebook ; which they were pleased to grant. The old congregation was thus broken up by Dr. Cox and his friends, who now carried all before them. They chose new churchofficers, taking no notice of the old ones, and set up the service-book without interruption. Among those who were d/iven from the peaceable and happy congregation, were Knox, Gilby, Goodman, Cole, Whittingham, and Fox, all celebrated nonconformists in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.* From the above account, it will sufficiently appear who were the aggressors. Bishop Burnet, with great injustice, says, " That Knox and his party certainly began the breach."+

Towards the close of this queen's unhappy reign, her government having sustained many losses, her spirits failed, her health declined, and, being seized with the dropsy, she died November 17, 1558, in the forty-third year of her age, having reigned a little more than five years and four months. Queen Mary was a princess of severe principles, and being wholly under the controul of her clergy, was ever forward to sanction all their cruelties. Her conscience was under the absolute direction of the pope and her confessor ; who, to encourage her in the extirpation of heresy, and in all the cruelties inflicted upon protestants, gave her assurance, that she was doing God service. She was naturally of a melancholy and peevish temper; and her death was lamented only by her popish clergy.J Her reign was in every respect calamitous to the nation, and will be transmitted to posterity in characters of blood.

Sect. II.

From the Death of Queen Mary, to the Death of Queen Elizabeth.

The accession of Queen Elizabeth to the crown, gave new life to the Reformation. The news had no sooner reached the continent, than most of the worthy exiles with joy returned home; and those who had concealed themselves, during the late storm, came forth as men restored from the

» Troubles at Frankeford, p. 1—&c.

+ Hut. of Rcfor. vol. ii. p. 339. J Ibid. p. 369—371.

C

dead.* By the queen's royal proclamation, the public worship of God remained some time without alteration. All preaching was prohibited; and the people were charged to hear only the epistles and gospels for the day, the ten commandments, the litany, the Lord's prayer, and the creed, in English. No other prayers were to be read, nor other forms of worship to be observed, than those already appointed by law, till the meeting of parliament.t

The parliament being assembled, the two famous acts, entitled " The Act of Supremacy,"t and " The Act of Uniformity of Common Prayer," were passed. The former

gave rise to a new ecclesiastical court, called The Court of tiGH Commission, which, by the exercise of its unlimited power and authority, became the engine of inconceivable oppression to multitudes of the queen s best subjects. The latter attempted, indeed, to establish a perfect uniformity in public worship, but it could never be effected.^ During the whole of this reign, many of the best divines and others, were dissatisfied with the Book of Common Prayer, and with the rigorous imposition of it in divine worship. Some things contained in the book, they considered to be erroneous; others superstitious; and the greater part to be derived from the corrupt fountain of popery, and, therefore, could not with a good conscience observe the whole; on which account, they were treated by the prelates with the utmost severity. The principal debate in the first parliament of this queen's reign, was not whether popery or protestantism should be established; but whether they should carry on the reformation, so happily begun in the days of King Edward, to a greater degree of perfection, and abolish all the remains of superstition, idolatry, and

* It is observed, that when the exiles and others came forwards in public, a certain gentleman made suit to the queen, in behalf of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, who had long been imprisoned in a Latin translation, that they also might be restored to liberty, and walk abroad as formerly in the English tongue. To this petition her majesty immediately replied, " That he should nrst know the minds of the prisoners, who perhaps desired no such liberty as he requested." — Hcylin's Hist, of Refor. p. 275.

+ Burnet's Hist, of Refor. vol. ii. p. 378.—Strype's Annals, vol. I. p. 41—44. J Ibid. p. 69.

(j This act was designed to establish a perfect and universal conformity, among the laity, as well as the clergy. It required " all persons diligently and faithfully, having no lawful or reasonable excuse, to resort to their parish church, every Sunday and all holidays, on pain of punishment by the censurei of the church, and also on pain of forfeiting tteeloe-pence (or every such offence, to be levied by way of distress."—Burn's £cc(. Latef vol. ii. p. 145. Edit. 1775.

popish innovations, which being still retained in the church, were stumbling blocks to many worthy subjects.*

In the year 1559, the queen published her Injunctions.

manded all her loving subjects obediently to receive, and truly to observe and keep them, according to their offices, degrees and estates, upon pain of suspension, deprivation, excommunication, and such other censures as to those who had ecclesiastical jurisdiction under her majesty, should seem meet.t Though in these injunctions the queen manifested some disapprobation of the Romish superstitions and idolatry, she was much inclined to retain images in churches, and thought they were useful in exciting devotion, and in drawing people to public worship. Her object was to unite the papists and protestants together.} She still retained a crucifix upon the altar, with lights burning before it, in her own chapel, when three bishops officiated, all in rich copes, before the > idol.^ Instead of stripping religion of the numerous, pompous ceremonies with which it was incumbered, she was inclined rather to keep it as near as possible to the Romish ritual: and even some years after her accession, one of her chaplains having preached in defence of the real presence, she presented her public thanks to him, for his pains and pielj/4 She spoke with great bitterness against the marriage of the clergy, and repented having made married persons bishops.i Her majesty having appointed a committee of divines to review King Edward's liturgy, she commanded them to strike out all passages offensive to the pope, and to make the people easy about the corporeal presence of Christ in the sacrament.** The liturgy was, therefore, exceedingly well fitted to the approbation of the papists.tt The queen commanded, that the Lord's table should be placed in the form of an altar; that reverence should be made at the name of Jesus; that music should be retained in the churches; and that all the festivals should be observed as in times of popery.}t The reformation of King Edward, therefore, instead of being carried forwards and perfected, was, according to Burnet, removed considerably backwards, partly

* MS. Remarks, p. 463. + Sparrow's Collec. p. 65—86. % Burnet's Hist, of Refor. vol. ii. p. 897. S lt>id- vo1- >>'- P- 292' I Heylin's Hist, of Refor. p. 124. Edit. 1670.

* Strype's Parker, p. 109.

»» Burnet's Hist, of Refor. vol. ii. p. 392.

+ + Heylin's Hist, of Pres. p. 259.

»t Heylin's Hist, of Refor. p. 283. Edit. 1674.

from the queen's love of outward magnificence in religion, and partly in compliance with the papists.*

Many of our excellent reformers who had espoused the cause of nonconformity, in the days of King Edward, retained their principles, and acted upon them, during their exile in a foreign land, especially those who being driven from Frankfort, settled at Geneva and other places. Nor did they forget their principles upon the accession of

best reformed churches in Europe, they examined more minutely the grand principles of the reformation, and returned home richly fraught with wisdom and knowledge. They wished to have the church purged of all its antichristian errors and superstitions, and to have its discipline, its government, and its ceremonies, as well as its doctrine, regulated by the standard of holy scripture. On the contrary, many of the bishops and clergy being too well affected to popery, opposed a thorough reformation, accounting that of King Edward sufficient, or more than sufficient, for the present church of England. Therefore, so early as in the year mentioned above, there were many warm debates betwixt the two contending parties, t

In addition to the oath of supremacy, a compliance with the act of uniformity, and an exact observance of the queen's injunctions, a public creed was drawn up by the bishops, entitled " A Declaration of certain principal Articles of Religion," which all clergymen were obliged to read publicly at their entrance upon their cures. These were, at this time, the terms of ministerial conformity. There was no dispute among the reformers, about the first and last of these qualifications, but they differed in some points about the other two. Many of the learned exiles and others, could not, with a good conscience, accept of livings according to the act of uniformity and the queen's injunctions. If the popish garments and ceremonies had been left indifferent, and some liberties allowed in the use of the common prayer, the contentions and divisions which afterwards followed, would no doubt have been prevented. But as the case then stood, it was almost miraculous that the reformation did not fall back to popery; and if some of the nonconforming divines had not in part complied, in hopes of the removal of these grievances at some future period, that would most probably have been the unhappy

• Burnet's Hist, of Refor. vol. iii. p. 305.

t Ibid. vol. ii. p. 407—Baker's MS. Collec. vol. xzvii. p. 387.

several years among the consequence. Many churches were for a considerable time without ministers, and not a few mechanics, and persons altogether unlearned, were preferred, which brought much reproach upon the prolestant cause; while others of the first rank for learning, piety and usefulness, were laid aside in silence. There was, indeed, very little preaching through the whole country.* The Bishop of Bangor writes, during this year, " that he had only two preachers in all his diocese."t Indeed the bishops in general were not insensible of the calamity; but instead of opening the door a little wider, for the allowance of the more conscientious and zealous reformers, they admitted the meanest and most illiterate, who would come up to the terms of conformity.} And even at this early period, there were many of the clergy, who, though preferred to benefices, could not conform, but refused to observe the public service, and to wear the holy

Sirments; at which the queen was exceedingly offended.§ r. Matthew Parker was this year consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury.

In the year 1562, sat the famous convocation, when " The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion," much the same as those of King Edward, were drawn up and subscribed by all the members then sitting, and required to be subscribed by all the clergy in the kingdom. The convocation proceeded next to consider the rites and ceremonies of the church, when Bishop Sandys presented a paper recommending the abolition of private baptism, and the crossing of the infant in the forehead, which, he said, was needless and •very superslilious.^ Another paper was, at the same time, presented to the house, with the following requests:— " That the psalms may be sung distinctly by the whole " congregation; and that organs may be laid aside.—That " none may baptize but ministers; and that they may leave " off the sign of the cross.—That in the administration of u the sacrament, the posture of kneeling may be left indif« ferent.—That the use of copes and surplices may be " taken away; so that all ministers in their ministry use a " grave, comely, and long garment, as they commonly do u in preaching.—That ministers be not compelled to wear " such gowns and caps, as the enemies of Christ's gospel " have chosen for the special array of their priesthood.— " That the words in the thirty-third article, concerning the

• Biog. Britan. vol. v. p. 3297. Edit. 1747. + MS. Register, p. 886. t Neal's Puritans, vol. i. p. 146.

S Strype's Parker, p. 106. || Strype's Annals, vol. i. p. 297.

u punishment of those who do not in all things conform to " the public order about ceremonies, may be mitigated.— " That all the saints' days, festivals, and holidays, bearing u the name of a creature, may be abrogated."—This paper was subscribed by one provost, five deans, twelve archdeacons, and fourteen proctors, many of whom were eminent for learning and ability; but their requests were rejected.*

In the above convocation, there was a great difference of sentiment among the learned reformers, which occasioned many warm debates upon points of great importance, especially upon this, " Whether it was most proper to .retain the outward appearance of things, as near as possible to what had been practised in times of popery." While the one party maintained the affirmative, the other asserted, that this outward resemblance of the Romish church, would encourage the people in their former practices, nourish in them the old root of popery, and make them a more easy prey to their popish adversaries. Therefore they recommended that every thing might be removed as far as possible from the church of Rome.t In the conclusion, the contrary party prevailed: and the bishops, conceiving themselves empowered by the canons of this convocation, began to exercise their authority by requiring the clergy ot their respective dioceses to subscribe to the liturgy, the ceremonies, and the discipline of the church; when such as refused, were branded with the odious name of Puritans. This was a term of reproach given them by their enemies, because they wished to serve and worship God with greater purity than was allowed and established in the church of England.} All were stigmatized by this name, who distinguished themselves in flic cause of religious liberty, and who could not in all points conform to the ecclesiastical establishment.

In the year 1564, Archbishop Parker, with the assistance of several of the bishops, published the Advertisements, with a view to secure a due conformity among ecclesiastical persons. By the first of these advertisements, all preachers throughout the province of Canterbury were at once disqualified ; and by the last, they were required to subscribe, and promise not to preach or expound the scriptures, without a license from the bishop, which could not be obtained

• Strype's Annals, p. 298. vol. ii. Addon, p. 15.
+ Burnet's Hist, of Refor. vol. iii. p. 302.
t Fuller's Church Hist. b. is. p. 76.

without a protestation and promise under their hand of an absolute conformity to the ceremonies. No less than eight protestations were also required to be made and subscribed by all who should be admitted to any oflice or cure in the church.* Though the archbishop and his brethren at first met with some difficulties in carrying them into effect, (the queen refusing to sanction them,) yet afterwards, presuming upon her majesty's favour, they succeeded according to their wishes.t Upon the approach of these severities, Mr. Whittingham wrote a long and pressing letter to the Earl of Leicester, warmly urging him to interpose with the queen, to hinder their execution. In the conclusion of this most pathetic epistle, he says, u I need not appeal to the word of God, to the history of the primitive church, and to the just judgments of God poured out upon the nations for lack of true reformation. Judge ye betwixt us and our enemies. And if we seek the glory of God alone, the enjoyment of true christian liberty, the overthrow of all idolatry and superstition, and to win souls to Christ; I beseech your honour to pity our case, and use your utmost endeavours to secure our liberty.''}

Many of the clergy in both the universities, and in the country, but especially in the city of London, refused to wear the square cap, the tippet, and the surplice. " And it is marvellous," says Mr. Strype, '< how much these habits were abhorred by many honest, well-meaning men; who styled them antichristian ceremonies, and by no means fit to be used in a true christian church.'^ But Archbishop Parker and other high commissioners being resolved to reduce the church to one uniform order, cited many of the clergy before them, admonishing some, and threatening others. Among those who appeared, were Dr. Sampson, dean of Christ-church, Oxford, and Dr. Humphrey, president of Magdalen college, in the same university. They were divines of great renown throughout the kingdom, for learning, piety, and zeal for the reformation, but were cast into prison for nonconformity.|| The famous Mr. Whitehead, with several others, was cited at the same

• Sparrow's Collec. p. 123—128, + Strype's Parker, p. 151—161.

i See Art. Whittingham. ^ Strypc's Parker, p. 151.

|| It is proper here to observe, that throughout the Introduction, no authority will be given where the same things are treated more at large in the body of the work. Therefore, in order to examine the evidence of what the author has asserted, as well as a more circumstantial detail of facts, the reader, in all such instances, is directed to the respective articles.

time, and, refusing to subscribe, was immediately suspended. Mr. Becon, another celebrated reformer, being cited, and refusing to subscribe, was immediately sequestered and deprived. Mr. Allen was cited, and received the like censure. Many others were suspended and deprived, who, having wives and children, laboured under great poverty and want. Being driven from their ministerial employment, some, to procure a livelihood, betook themselves to trades, some to husbandry, and some went to sea.* The principal reasons of these and other learned divines now refusing conformity, were—1. Because those things which the prelates required, were unsupported by scripture and primitive antiquity.—2. They were not received by other reformed churches.—And, 3. They savoured very much of the errors and superstitions of popery.t On these grounds, they disapproved of some things in the Book of Common Prayer, and forbore the use of the habits and ceremonies.

In the year 1565, the archbishop and his brethren in commission, not content with exercising all their own authority to its fullest extent, sought the favourable assistance of the council, and enforced an exact conformity to the ecclesiastical establishment with still greater rigour. They convened the London ministers before them; and when they appeared in court, Mr. Robert Cole, a clergyman,* being placed by the side of the commissioners in priestly apparel, they were addressed in these words: —" My masters, and ye ministers of London, the council's pleasure is, that strictly ye keep the unity of apparel, like this man who stands here canonically habited with a square cap, a scholar's gown, priest-like, a tippet, and, in the church, a linen surplice. Ye that will subscribe, write Volo; those that will not subscribe, write Nolo. Be brief: make no words." When some of the ministers offered to speak, they were immediately interrupted with the command, " Peace, peace; and apparitor, call over the churches: ye masters, answer presently under the penalty of conlempt.,\ In the conclusion, sixty-one promised conformity, but thirty-seven absolutely refused, being, as the archbishop acknowledged, the best among them. These

* Strype's Grinda), p. 99. + MS. Remarks, p. 161.

t This Mr. Cole, for his subscription and conformity, was preferred by the archbishop to the beneSce of Bow and Allhallows, London.—Baktr'$ MS. Colltc. vol.xzvii. p. 387.

tj Strype'i Grindal, p. 98.—Annals, vol. i. p. 463.

-were immediately suspended, and told, that if they did not conform within three months, they should be deprived of all their spiritual promotions.* Among those who received the ecclesiastical censure, was Mr. Crowley, who was afterwards deprived and imprisoned. Mr. Brokelsby was sequestered, and afterwards deprived, being the first who was thus censured for refusing to wear the surplice. Dr. Turner, dean of Wells, was sequestered and deprived for refusing to wear the surplice, and to use the Book of Common Prayer. The venerable Miles Coverdale was driven from his flock, and obliged to relinquish his benefice. In consequence of these proceedings, many of the churches in London were shut up, for want of ministers. " This," says the archbishop," was no more than he foresaw before he began ; and that when the queen put him upon doing what he had done, he told her, that these precise folks," as in contempt he calls them, " would offer their goods and bodies to prison, rather than they would relent."+

Notwithstanding these proceedings, the nonconformists greatly multiplied, and they were much esteemed and countenanced by persons of quality and influence. God raised them up many friends in both houses of parliament, and in her majesty's privy council: as, the Earls of Bedford, Warwick, and Leicester, Sir Francis Knollys, Sir William Cecil, and many others. All these were the constant friends of the puritans, and used their power and influence to obtain a further reformation.} Though in the latter they utterly failed of success, they often protected the persecuted ministers, or procured their release from suspension, deprivation, and imprisonment.

The principal persons for learning and piety, in the university of Cambridge, not only opposed the above severities, but refused conformity. The fellows and scholars of St. John's college, to the number of nearly three hundred^ threw away their surplices with one consent; and many in other colleges followed their example.^ This, indeed, presently roused the zeal of the jealous archbishop. He looked upon Cambridge as becoming the very nursery of puritanism; and, therefore, to crush the evil in the bud, he warmly recommended the chancellor to enforce an exact conformity throughout that fountain of learning. In the mean time, the heads of colleges being dissatisfied with these proceedings, wrote a pressing letter to the chancellor,

* Strype's Parker, p. 911, 215. + Ibid. p. 225.

t MS. Remarks, p. Ill, 193. S Strype's Annals, vol. i. p. 441.

wishing him to put a stop to such severe measures. They observe that multitudes of pious and learned men thought in their consciences, that the use of the garments was utterly unlawful; and that the imposition of them upon all in the university, would compel these worthy persons to forsake the place, which would leave the university very destitute. Such an imposition of conformity, say they, will prove exceedingly detrimental to the preaching of the gospel, as well as to good learning.* The chancellor being a man of great prudence and circumspection, and loath to give offence by using severities, made some demur, with which the archbishop was displeased. Those who refused conformity reminded the chancellor, that they had cast away the ceremonies, not out of malice, for vain glory, an affection for popularity, contempt of laws, or any desire of innovation, but out of love to the truth. They could call the Searcher of Hearts to witness, that in what they had done, they had sought to enjoy peace of conscience, and the true worship of God. They prayed, therefore, that their consciences might not be brought into a state of most grievous bondage and exquisite torment, by being forced to observe the ceremonies. +

The proceedings of the prelates in censuring so many ministers of high reputation, was very afflictive to the foreign reformed churches. Therefore the famous Beza wrote a letter this year to Bishop Grindal, exposing the evils attending the imposition of conformity. He observes, that " if they do offend, who choose to leave their churches, rather than conform to rites and vestments against their consciences; a greater guilt is contracted by those who choose to spoil these flocks of able pastors, rather than suffer

choose to rob the people of the food of their souls, rather than suffer them to receive it otherwise than on their knees."$ He observes also, that this intended conformity designed u to admit again, not only those garments which are the signs of Baal's priests, but also certain rites, which are degenerated into the worst of superstitions: as the signing with the cross, kneeling at the communion, and such like."s The church of Scotland wrote, at the same time, a most

• Among those who subscribed this letter was even Dr. John Whitgift, afterwards the celebrated archbishop. This man was now a zealous friend of the nonconformists; but soon after as zealous a persecutor of them. —Strypc't Parker, p. 194. + Ibid. p. 192, 194,196.

those pastors to make

affectionate and pressing letter to the bishops and pastors of England, exposing the evil of persecution, and recommending peace among brethren. " We understand," say they, " that divers of our dearest brethren, among whom are some of the best learned in the realm, are deprived from the ecclesiastical function, and forbidden to preach, because their consciences will not suffer them to use such garments as idolaters in time of blindness, have used in their idolatry. We crave in the bowels of Jesus Christ, that christian charity may prevail among you. Ye cannot be ignorant how tender a thing the conscience of man is. If then the surplice, corner cap, and tippet, have been badges of idolatry, and used in the very act of idolatry, what hath the preacher of christian liberty, and the open rebuker of all superstition, to do with the dregs of that liomish beast ? Our brethren who of conscience refuse that unprofitable apparel, do neither condemn, nor molest you, who use such vain trifles. If you should do the like to them, we doubt not that you will please God, and comfort the hearts of many, which are wounded by the present extremities. Our humble supplication is, that our brethren among you, who refuse the Romish rags, may find such favour of you prelates, as your Head and Master commandeth every one of his members to shew to all others. We expect to receive your gentleness, not only because you fear to offend God's majesty, by troubling your brethren with such vain trifles ; but also because you will not refuse the humble request of us your brethren and fellowpreachers of Jesus Christ. We suppose you will esteem us to be of the number of those, who fight against the Romish antichrist, and travel for the advancement of the universal kingdom of Jesus Christ; before whom, we, and you, and your brethren, must soon give an account."*

Many of the puritans having, for the sake of peace, conformed as far as they possibly could, at length endeavoured, though under great discouragements, to obtain an accommodation. But the prelates proceeding with still greater severity against all who could not come up to the standard of conformity, made it too evidently appear, that they sought not their conformity, but their utter extir

• This letter, dated Edinburg, Dec. 27, 1566, is entitled " The ministers and elders of the churches within the realme of Scotlande, to their brethren the bishops and pastours of Englande, who have renounced the Romane antichrist, and doe professe with them the Lord Jesus in sinceritie, desi^etb the pernetuall increase of the Holy Spirit."—Parte of a Register, p. 125 —127. '

pation. Having made application to certain persons of distinguished eminence, the business was laid before the parliament; and during this year, six bilk were brought into the house of commons, to promote a further reformation of the church. They were warmly supported by many eminent statesmen, and one of them passed the house ; but coming up to the lords, it met with some opposition ; and by the superior power and influence of the bishops, it was cast out.*

Through the heavy oppressions of the prelates, many of the puritans, both ministers and others, withdrew from the national church, and set up their separate assemblies. They laid aside the ecclesiastical ceremonies and the Book of Common Prayer, and worshipped God in a way which to them appeared more agreeable to the word of God. The reason assigned for their separation was, " that the ceremonies of antichrist were so tied to the service of God, that no one might preach, or administer the sacraments without them, being compelled to observe these things by law." If the use of the habits and certain ceremonies had been left discretionary, both ministers and people would no doubt have been easy. This being denied, they entered into a serious consultation, when they came to this conclusion: " That, since they could not have the word of God preached, nor the sacraments administered, without idolatrous gear; and since there had been a separate congregation in London, and another at Geneva, in Queen Mary's time, which used a book and order of preaching, administration of the sacraments and discipline, which the great Mr. Calvin approved of, and which was freed from the superstitions of the English service: that therefore it was their duty in their present circumstances, to break off from the public churches, and to assemble as they had opportunity in private houses, or elsewhere, to worship God in a manner that might not offend their consciences."+ This was about the year 1566, and was the aera of that SepaRation from the church of England which continues to this day.

The chief leaders of the separation were Messrs. Coleman, Button, HaUngham, Benson, and Hawkins, all, according to Fuller, active and zealous nonconformists, beneficed within the diocese of London.* Notwithstanding

• MS. Remarks, p. 463.

+ Parte of a Register, p. 25.—Strype's Parker, p. 241,842. t Fuller's Church Hist. b. iz. p. 81. *

the threatenings and severities of the prelates, they continued to meet in their private assemblies, as they found opportunity; and oftentimes assembled in the fields and the woods in the neighbourhood of London, to avoid the discovery of their watchful enemies.* But they ventured at length to appear more openly; and June 19, 1567, having agreed to have a sermon and the Lord's supper at Plumbershall in the city, they hired the place, as some one intimated, under pretence of a wedding. Here, the sheriffs and other officers discovered them, and broke up their meeting, when about one hundred were assembled; most of whom were taken into custody, and sent to Bridewell, the Compter, and other prisons. Having remained in prison nearly two

tried, twenty-four men and seven women were released by an order from the council.t

The puritans of these times had many objections against the established church. They complained of the assumed superiority of bishops above presbyters.—They excepted against the numerous, pompous titles of ecclesiastical officers.—They complained of the exorbitant power and jurisdiction of the prelates.—They lamented the want of sodly discipline.—They disliked some things in the public fiturgy: as, the frequent repetition of the Lord's prayer, the responses, some things in the office of marriage, the burial of the dead, &c.—They disliked the reading of the apocryphal books, to the exclusion of some parts of canonical scripture.—They disallowed of the cathedral mode of worship.—They disapproved of the church festivals or holidays, as having no foundation in scripture.—They disapproved of pluralities, nonresidence, and lay patrons.—Arid they scrupled conformity to certain rites and ceremonies : as, the cross in baptism; the promises and vows; the use of sponsors, to the exclusion of parents; the custom of confirming children ; kneeling at the Lord's supper; bowing at the name of Jesus; the ring in marriage; and the wearing of the surplice, with other ceremonies equally without foundation in scripture.} . During the above year, the puritans felt the oppressions of the ruling ecclesiastics. Mr. Evans was convened before them and prosecuted, for keeping conventicles. Mr. Lawrence, a Suffolk divine of great eminence, was suspended for nonconformity; and Dr. Hardyman suffered deprivation.

» Heylin's Hist, of Pres. p. 259. t Strype'« Grindal, p. 136.

t Neal's Puritans, vol. i. p. 209—213.

sufficiently Mr. Stroud, minister of Y aiding, in Kent, was cast into prison, excommunicated, deprived of his ministry, reduced to extreme poverty, and obliged to enter upon the employment of correcting the press for his support. Other puritans, denominated peaceable nonconformists, obtained for some time a connivance or toleration. These were Drs. Sampson, Humphrey, Wyburn, Penny and Coverdale, with Messrs. Fox, Lever, and Johnson.*

Alxmt the year 1570, other oppressions were inflicted upon certain London ministers: Mr. Crane and Mr. Bonham were both silenced and cast into prison for nonconformity. The former was afterwards for the same crime committed to Newgate; where, after languishing a long time under the hardships of the prison, he was delivered by death from all his afflictions. Mr. Axton, an excellent divine, for refusing the apparel, the cross in baptism, and kneeling at the Lord's supper, was convened before the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, and, after a long examination, was deprived and driven to seek his bread in a foreign land. The celebrated Mr. Cartwright, of Cambridge, was cited before Dr. Whitgift and others, when he was deprived of his public ministry, expelled from the university, and forced to depart out of the kingdom. Innumerable, indeed, were the hardships under which the puritans groaned. By the rigorous proceedings of the ruling prelates, the church was deprived of many of its brightest ornaments; and nearly all its faithful pastors were ejected; especially in Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Norfolk, and Suffolk.t While these ravages were made upon the church of Christ, several thousands of ministers of inferior character, such as common swearers, drunkards, gamesters, whoremongers, and massing priests, only because they were conformable, continued in their offices, enjoyed their livings, and obtained preferment. Most of the bishops having endured persecution and banishment in the days of Queen Mary,

forgot their former condition, and persecuted their brethren of the same faith, who could not come up to the standard of conformity.}

At this period, there was considerable variety in the kind of bread used in the Lord's supper: some ministers, in conformity to the papists and the queen's injunctions, used the wafer bread ; but others, in conformity to scripture

• Strype's Parker, p. 243. t MS. Register, p. 147.

J Parte of a Register, p. 2—9.

and the convictions of their own minds, renounced the popish relict, and used the loaf bread. This gave great offence and much trouble to Archbishop Parker, who, with the assistance of Bishop Grindal, laboured much to bring all the clergy to an exact uniformity.*

The above proceedings having excited considerable alarm in the nation, some attempts were made in the parliament of 1571, to obtain a reformation of the ecclesiastical laws. The motion was warmly supported by some of the ablest statesmen ; but was no sooner become the subject of public discussion, than the queen took great offence, and forbad the house to concern itself about such matters.t The commons ventured, however, to present a supplication to her majesty, in which they observe, that for want of true ecclesiastical discipline, there were great numbers of ministers of infamous lives, while those possessed of abilities for the sacred function were cast aside as useless. They complain of the great increase of popery, atheism and licentiousness, by which the protestant religion was in imminent danger. " And," say they, " being moved with pily towards so many thousands of your majesty's subjects, daily in danger of being lost for want of the food of the word, and true discipline; we, the commons in this present parliament assembled, are humbly bold to open the griefs, and to seek the salving of the sores of our country; and to beseech your majesty, seeing the same is of so great importance, that the parliament at this time may be so long continued, as that by good and godly laws, provision may be made for a reformation of these great and grievous wants and abuses, and by such other means as to your majesty shall seem meet, a perfect redress of the same may be obtained; by which the number of your majesty's faithful subjects will be increased, popery will be destroyed, the glory of God will be promoted, and your majesty's renown will be recommended to all posterity."t But the queen broke up the parliament without taking the least notice of the supplication.

These proceedings occasioned an act to pass during this parliament, requiring all ministers " to declare their assent to all the articles of religion, which only concern the confession of the true christian faith, and the doctrine of the sacraments." This was a great alleviation to the non

• Strype's Parker, p. 308—310.

+ D. Ewes's Journal, p. 157, 18S.—Strype's Parker, p. 334. % MS. Register, p. 92, 93.

conformists, when they all readily subscribed. But the bishops and clergy in convocation had the confidence, at the same time, to make new canons of discipline, by which they greatly increased the burdens of the puritans. They required subscription to all the articles, even those relating to the rites, ceremonies, order and policy of the church, as well as Others, contrary to the above statute. The bishops called in all their licenses to preach, forbidding all ministers to preach without new ones. Most of the nonconformists claiming the liberty allowed them by the laws of the land, refused the canonical subscription, as a most grievous usurpation over their consciences ; for which great numbers were turned out of their livings.* This led them to preach in other churches, or in private houses, without license, as they were able to procure an opportunity. But the queen hearing of this, immediately commanded the archbishop and other ecclesiastical commissioners not to suffer any minister to read, pray, preach, or administer either of the sacraments, in any church, chapel, or private place, without a license from her majesty, the archbishop, or the bishop of the diocese. t

These tyrannical measures, instead of bringing the puritans nearer the standard of conformity, drove them farther from the church. They could not with a good conscience, observe the new ecclesiastical impositions; and, therefore, the chief among them were cited to appear at Lambeth; t among whom were Drs. Sampson and Wyburn, and Messrs. Goodman, Lever, Walker, Goff, Deering, Field, Brown, and Johnson. These divines were ready to subscribe to the doctrines of faith and the sacraments, according to law, but excused themselves from doing more. Goodman was suspended, and constrained to sign a recantation. Lever quietly resigned his prebend in the church of Durham. Deering was long molested and suspended. J ohnson suffered similar treatment. Dr. Willoughby was deprived for refusing the above canonical subscription.^ Mr. Gilby and Mr. Whittingham endured many troubles for their nonconformity.

These proceedings opened the eyes of the people ; and the parliament in 1572, warmly espoused the cause of the distressed ministers. The queen and bishops having most shamefully abused their pretended spiritual power, two

hardships under which the puritans groaned, were intended to be redressed.» The bills passed smoothly through the commons, and were referred to a committee of both houses; which so alarmed the bishops, and gave such offence to the queen, that, two days after, she acquainted the commons, that it was her royal pleasure, that no bill relating to religion should henceforth be introduced into that house, till after the same had been considered and approved by the clergy; and she commanded the house to deliver up the two bills last read, touching rites and ceremonies.+ With this high stretch of her majesty's prerogative, the commons quietly and tamely complied, and their efforts came to nothing.

In the mean time, the bishops stuck close to the canonical discipline; enforced conformity with the utmost rigour; and, according to the computation of Mr. Strype,} there were at least one hundred ministers deprived this year, for refusing subscription. The university of Cambridge was, indeed, become a nest of puritans. Dr. Browning and Mr. Brown, both fellows of Trinity college, were convened before the heads, and cast into prison for nonconformity. Mr. Clarke, fellow of Peter-house, and Mr. Millain, fellow of Christ's college, were expelled from their colleges, and banished from the university.^ But these severe proceedings had not the effect intended: for, instead of crushing the nonconformists, the more they were persecuted, the more they multiplied.

The puritans having in vain sought for a reformation from the queen and the bishops, resolved to apply to the parliament, and stand by the const it ution. They published a treatise, presenting their grievances in one view. It was compiled by Mr. Held, assisted by Mr. Wilcocks, and revised by others. The work was entitled " An Admonition to the Parliament;" to which were annexed, Beza's letter to the Earl of Leicester, and Gaulter's to Bishop Parkhurst, upon the reformation of church discipline. It contains a platform of the church; the manners of electing ministers; with their several duties, and their equality in government.

* Strype's Parker, p. 394.

+ D. Ewes's Journal, p. 207.—Strype's Annals, vol. ii. p. 125. t Strype's Annals, vol. ii. p. 187.

$ In opposition to the above facts, Bishop Maddox insinuates that great favour and indulgence were shewn to the puritans, during this year; and refers to the words of Mr. Strype, saving, " That they were as gently treated as might be; no kind of brotherly persuasion omitted towards them; and most of them as yet kept their livings; though one or ttco were displaced." What degree of truth is contained in this statement, every one. will easily judge.—Maddoi's Vindication, p. 173. VoL. I. D

It then exposes with some degree of sharpness the corruptions of the church, and the proceedings of the bishops. The admonition then concludes, by petitioning the houses, that discipline, more consonant to the word of God, and more agreeable to other reformed churches, may be established by law. Mr. Field and Mr. Wilcocks presented it themselves to the house, for which they were apprehended, and sent to Newgate, where they remained in close and miserable confinement at least fifteen months. While the authors were thus prosecuted, the book spread abroad, and soon passed through several editions.*

The leading puritans having presented their numerous petitions to the queen, the bishops, and the parliament, to little or no purpose, agreed to attempt to promote the desired reformation in a more private way. For this purpose, they erected a presbytery at Wandsworth, near London. The members of this association were Messrs. Smith, Crane, Field, Wilcocks, Standen, Jackson, Bonham, Saintloc, and Edmunds; to whom were afterwards joined Messrs. Travers, Clarke, Barber, Gardiner, Cheston, Crook, Egerton, and a number of respectable laymen. Eleven elders were chosen, and their offices described in a register, entitled " The Orders of Wandsworth." This was the first presbyterian church in England. Notwithstanding that all imaginable care was taken to keep their proceedings secret, the bishops' eyes were upon them, who gave immediate intelli

fence to the high commission; upon which the queen issued er royal proclamation for a more exact observance of the act of uniformity. And though the bishops knew of the presbytery, they could not discover its members, nor prevent others from being erected in other parts of the kingdom.+

While multitudes of the best preachers were utterly silenced, the church of England stood in the greatest need of their zealous and faithful labours. It was, indeed, in a most deplorable condition. The conformable clergy obtained all the benefices in their power, and resided upon none, utterly neglecting t heir cures: many of them alienated the church lands, made unreasonable leases, wasted the wood upon the lands, and granted reversions and advowsons for their own advantage. The churches fell greatly into decay, and became unfit for divine service. Among the laity there was very little devotion; and the Lord's day was

* For a circumstantial account of the controversy excited by the publication of the " Admonition," see Art. Thomas Cartwrigbt.

t Fuller'* Church Hist. b. iz. p. 103.—Neal'» Puritans, Vol. i. p. 266.

generally profaned. Many were mere heathens, epicures, or atheists, especially those about the court; and good men feared that some sore judgment hung over the nation.*

In the year 1573, the queen issued her royal proclamation, " strictly commanding all archbishops and bishops, all justices of assizes, and all others having authority, to put in execution the act of uniformity of common prayer, with all diligence and severity, neither favouring, nor dissembling with any one person, who doth neglect, despise, or seek to alter the godly orders and rites set forth in the said book." The proclamation requires further, " that all who shall be found nonconformable in the smallest matter, shall be immediately apprehended and cast into prison; all who shall forbear coming to the common prayer, and receiving the sacraments, according to the said book, shall be immediately presented and punished; and all who shall either in private houses, or in public assemblies, use any other rites of common prayer and administration of sacraments, or shall maintain in their houses any persons guilty of these things, shall be punished with the utmost severity."* This, from the supreme governor of the church, inspired the zealous prelates with new life and courage. They enforced subscription upon the clergy with great rigour. Though the forms of subscription varied in different dioceses, that which was most commonly imposed was the following: " I ac" knowledge the book of articles agreed upon by the clergy " in the synod of 1563, and confirmed by the queen's " majesty, to be sound and according to the word of God.— " That the queen's majesty is the chief governor, next under " Christ, of this church of England, as well in ecclesiastical " as civil causes.—That in the Book of Common Prayer, " there is nothing evil or repugnant to the word of God, but " that it may well be used in this our christian church of " England.—And that as the public preaching of the word " in this church of England is sound and sincere, so the " public order in the ministration of the Sacraments is coni; sonant to the word of God."t

Upon the rigorous imposition of these forms, many ministers not being able with a good conscience to comply, were brought into great trouble. Messrs. Deering and Cartwright, together with Dr. Sampson and other excellent divines, endured much cruel usage for nonconformity.^ Dr. Wyburn, and Messrs. Brown, Johnson, Field, Wilcocks,

* Strype's Parker, p. 395. + Sparrow's Collec. p. 169, 170.

t Parle of a Register, p. 81. S Strype's Annals, vol. ii. p. 265—282.

Sparrow, and King, were deprived of their livings, and four of them committed to Newgate. They were told, that if they did not comply in a short time, they should be banished, though there was no law in existence to inflict any such punishment.* Mr. Johnson, who was fellow of King's college, Cambridge, and domestic chaplain to the Lord Keeper Bacon, was tried at Westminster-hall for nonconformity, and sent to the Gatehouse, where, through his cruel imprisonment, he soon after died. Several others, cast into prison at the same time, died under the pressures of their confinement. Mr. Bonham, Mr. Standen and Mr. Fcnn, were committed to prison, where they remained a long time. Mr. Wake, reclor of Great-Billing; Mr. Paget, minister of Oundle; Mr. Mosely, minister of Hardingstoue; Mr. Gilderd, minister of Collingtrec; and Mr. Dawson, minister of Weston-Favell, all in the diocese of Peterborough, were first suspended for three weeks, and then deprived of their livings. They were all useful preachers. Four of them were licensed by the university, as learned and religious divines, and three had been moderators in the religious exercises. Mr. Lowth, minister of Carlisle, was prosecuted in the high commission at York; while Mr. Sanderson and Dr. Crick, two learned and useful divines in Norfolk, fell into the hands of t he high commissioners in the south, when the latter was deprived of his preferment. Many others in the diocese of Norwich refusing conformity, were prosecuted in the ecclesiastical courts. + And Mr. Aldrich, with many others in the university of Cambridge, received much unchristian usage from the governing ecclesiastics. At the same time, John Townley, esq. a layman, was committed to prison for nonconformity, when Dean Nowell, his near kinsman, presented a petition to the president of the north and the Archbishop of York, for his release.!

The year 1574 was memorable for the suppression of the religious exercises, called prophesyings. Some of the bishops being persuaded of the usefulness of these exercises, discovered their unwillingness to put them down. This gave great offence to the queen, who addressed a letter to all the bishops in England, peremptorily commanding them to suppress them in their respective dioceses. Her majesty in this discovered a most despotic and tyrannical spirit. All the bishops and clergy in the nation must bow to her

sovereign pleasure.* This was the royal lady who renounced the infallibility of the Pope of Rome. In these exercises, the clergy were divided into classes, and each class was under the direction of a moderator appointed by the bishop of the diocese. They were held once a fortnight, when a portion of scripture formed the subject of discussion. They were holden publicly in the churches; and besides exposing the errors of popery, they were of unspeakable service in promoting a knowledge of the scriptures among the people. But the jealous archbishop looked upon them as the nurseries of puritanism, calling thein vain prophesying! A They tended, in his opinion, to promote popularity, insubordination, and nonconformity. But the archbishop did not long survive. For he died May 17, 1575; when he was succeeded by Dr. Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of York. He was a prelate of rigid and cruel principles, and much concerned to establish an exact uniformity in outward things, to the neglect of more important matters.}

During this year, a congregation of Dutch anabaptists was discovered, without Aldgate, London; twenty-seven of whom were apprehended and cast into prison, and four bearing fagots at Paul's cross, recanted their opinions. Eight were banished from the kingdom, and two Mere condemned to the flames, and burnt in Smithfield. The Dutch congregation in London interceded for their pardon, as did Mr. Fox, the martyrologist; but the queen remained inflexible, and the two poor men perfumed Smithfield with their ashes.^

The puritans, imder all their hardships, had many able friends at court, who stood firm in the cause of religious liberty. Therefore a committee was this year appointed by parliament to draw up a bill " For the Reformation of Church Discipline." But, as before, the house most probably received a check for attempting to interfere in religious matters.||

In the year 1576, many learned divines felt the vengeance of the ruling prelates. Mr. Harvy and Mr. Gawton, in

* Strype's Grindal, Appen. p. 85, 86. + Strvpe's Parker, p. 461.

{ Though a late writer affirms that Archbishop Parker " was prudent, gentle, and patient;" Hume says " he was rigid in exacting confoimity to the established worship, and in punishing, by lines or deprivation, all the puritanical clergymen, who attempted to innovate any thing in the habits, ceremonies, or liturgy of the church."—Chorion's Life of No well, p. I13f ^-Hume's Hut. of Eng. vol. v. p. 18i.

S See Art. Fox. U MS. Remarks, p. 463.

addition to many other troubles, were both suspended for nonconformity. As the storm approached, the ministers of Norfolk prepared for it, by presenting their humble supplication to the council, in which they express themselves as follows:—"As touching your letters wherein you say, that her majesty is fully bent to remove all those, who cannot be persuaded to conform themselves to all orders established, it grieveth our souls very much, considering what desolation is likely to come upon the poor flock of Christ, by being thus bereaved of many excellent pastors, who dare not yield to that conformity. Yet knowing that the hearts of princes are in the hands of God, we commit our cause, being God's own cause, unto him, waiting for a happy issue at his hands. In the mean time, we pour out our prayers before the throne of his mercy, to direct her majesty to promote his glory, lamenting our sins, and the sins of the land, as the reason of our prince being set against so godly a cause.

" As for ourselves, though we are willing to yield our bodies, goods, and lives to our sovereign prince, we dare not yield to this conformity, for fear of that terrible threatening of the Lord Jesus: ' Whosoever shall offend one of these little ones, it were better for him that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and that he were cast into the depth of the sea.' And though we have ever so much knowledge of christian liberty, we dare not cause our weak brother to perish, for whom Christ died. For in sinning against them, and wounding their consciences, we sin against Christ. We conclude with the apostle, ' Wherefore if meat (so we say of ceremonies) make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest 1 make my brother to offend.' Therefore we dare not yield to these ceremonies, because, so far from edifying and building up the church, they have rent it asunder, and torn it in pieces, to its great misery and ruin, as God knoweth; and unless some mitigation be granted, still greater misery and ruin will follow, by stopping the mouths of the servants of God.

" Although her majesty be incensed against us, as if we would obey no laws, M'e take the Lord ot heaven and earth to witness, that we acknowledge, from the bottom of our hearts, her majesty to be our lawful queen, placed over us by God for our good ; and we give God our most humble and hearty thanks for her happy government; and, both in public and private, we constantly pray for her prosperity. We renounce all foreign power, and acknowledge her majesty's supremacy to be lawful and just. We detest all error and heresy. Yet we desire that her majesty will not think us disobedient, seeing we suffer ourselves to be displaced, rather than yield to some things required. Our bodies, and goods, and all we have, are in her majesty's hands; only our souls we reserve to our God, who alone is able to save us or condemn us.